Reputation Compendium

Cenarion Circle

Cenarion Hold stands at the border of the Qiraji threat

The demigod Cenarius was the original patron of the Kaldorei (the Night Elves) and influenced much of their cultural development. Cenarius was the agent who brought the dragonflights to ally with the Kaldorei in the War of the Ancients. Though slain by Grom Hellscream in the defense of Ashenvale, Cenarius' influence reached beyond the Third Great War. His gifts to the Kaldorei were the teachings of working with and through the natural world - the ways of the druid. In the wake of the wars, some among the Tauren found kinship with these ways as well. The spiritual heart of this Circle lies in the Moonglade of Kalimdor where lies the barrow of the Dreaming-lost Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage. Since the War of the Shifting Sands, the might of the Circle has kept watch at Cenarion Hold in Silithus, guarding the border against the Qiraji.

The druids of the Cenarion Circle have spent their time preparing for the threat of Ahn'Qiraj. They will share the fruits of their labors with those who gain reputation with them.

  • At Friendly, you can purchase:
    • Plans: Heavy Obsidian Belt (300 Blacksmith)
      (Plate Waist MinLvl: 60, AC: 397, Str: 25, +5 all resist)
    • Plans: Ironvine Belt (300 Blacksmith)
      (Plate Waist MinLvl: 60, AC: 408, Sta: 12, NR: 15, +3 defense)
    • Formula: Enchant Cloak - Greater Fire Resistance (300 Enchanter)
      (Enchants cloak with +15 fire resistance)
    • Pattern: Bramblewood Belt (300 Leatherworker)
      (Leather Waist MinLvl: 60, AC: 108, Sta: 14, NR: 15)
    • Pattern: Sandstalker Bracers (300 Leatherworker)
      (Mail Wrist MinLvl: 57, AC: 220, NR: 15, Sta: 7)
    • Pattern: Spitfire Bracers (300 Leatherworker)
      (Mail Wrist MinLvl: 57, AC: 160, Agi: 9, Int: 9, restore 4 mana every 5 sec., +8 magical spell effects)
    • Pattern: Cenarion Herb Bag (275 Tailor)
      (20 slot herbalism bag)
    • Pattern: Sylvan Shoulders (300 Tailor)
      (Cloth Shoulder MinLvl: 60, AC: 74, Sta: 18, NR: 20, +7 magical spell effects)
    You may also turn in 5 Combat, 3 Logistics, and 7 Tactical Badges to Vargus to earn Volunteer's Battlegear:
  • At Honored, the following become available:
    • Plans: Ironvine Gloves (300 Blacksmith)
      (Plate Hands MinLvl: 60, AC: 454, Sta: 10, NR: 20, +10 defense)
    • Plans: Light Obsidian Belt (300 Blacksmith)
      (Mail Waist MinLvl: 60, AC: 224, +32 attack power, +1% crit, +5 all resist)
    • Formula: Enchant Cloak - Greater Nature Resistance (300 Enchanter)
      (Enchants cloak with +15 nature resistance)
    • Pattern: Bramblewood Boots (300 Leatherworker)
      (Leather Feet MinLvl: 60, AC: 132, Sta: 12, NR: 25)
    • Pattern: Sandstalker Gauntlets (300 Leatherworker)
      (Mail Hands MinLvl: 57, AC: 308, NR: 20, Sta: 9)
    • Pattern: Spitfire Gauntlets (300 Leatherworker)
      (Mail Hands MinLvl: 57, AC: 228, Agi: 12, Int: 12, restore 5 mana every 5 sec., +11 magical spell effects)
    • Pattern: Sylvan Crown (300 Tailor)
      (Cloth Head MinLvl: 60, AC: 80, Sta: 10, NR: 30, +18 magical spell effects)
    You can turn in assorted AQ20 drops for a class-specific set ring (MinLvl: 60). You may also turn in 7 Combat, 4 Logistics, and 4 Tactical Badges to Vargus to earn Veteran's Battlegear:
  • At Revered, you may obtain:
    • Plans: Ironvine Breastplate (300 Blacksmith)
      (Plate Chest MinLvl: 60, AC: 726, Sta: 15, NR: 30, +7 defense)
    • Plans: Jagged Obsidian Shield (300 Blacksmith)
      (Shield MinLvl: 60, AC: 2645, Block: 48, +2% block, +5 all resist, 5% silence)
    • Pattern: Bramblewood Helm (300 Leatherworker)
      (Leather Head MinLvl: 60, AC: 156, Sta: 20, NR: 30)
    • Pattern: Sandstalker Breastplate (300 Leatherworker)
      (Mail Chest MinLvl: 57, AC: 485, NR: 25, Sta: 13)
    • Pattern: Spitfire Breastplate (300 Leatherworker)
      (Mail Chest MinLvl: 57, AC: 365, Agi: 16, Int: 16, restores 6 mana every 5 sec., +15 magical spell effects)
    • Pattern: Gaea's Embrace (300 Tailor)
      (Back MinLvl: 60, AC: 92, Int: 13, +2% spell to hit, +27 magical spell effects)
    • Pattern: Satchel of Cenarius (300 Tailor)
      (24 slot herbalism bag)
    • Pattern: Sylvan Vest (300 Tailor)
      (Cloth Chest MinLvl: 60, AC: 98, Sta: 15, NR: 30, +12 magical spell effects)
    You can turn in assorted AQ20 drops for a class-specific set cloak (MinLvl: 60). You may also turn in 15 Combat, 20 Logistics, 17 Tactical Badges, and a Mark of Remulos to Vargus to earn Stalwart's Battlegear:
    • Deeprock Bracers
      (Plate Wrist AC: 309, Str: 19, Agi: 10, Sta: 8)
    • Earthcalm Orb
      (Off-hand Int: 10, Equip: regen 8 mana/5 sec, +18 spell healing)
    • Rockfury Bracers
      (Cloth Wrist AC: 42, Sta: 7, Equip: +27 spell damage and healing, +1% spell to hit)
    • Might of Cenarius
      (Unique Finger Sta: 8, Equip: +4 Weapon Damage, +1% to hit)
  • At Exalted, you may finally get:
    • Plans: Obsidian Mail Tunic (300 Blacksmith)
      (Mail Chest MinLvl: 60, AC: 458, +76 attack power, +1% crit, -10 spell damage received)
    • Pattern: Dreamscale Breastplate (300 Dragonscale Leatherworker)
      (Mail Chest MinLvl: 60, AC: 434, Agi: 15, Sta: 15, Int: 14, NR: 30, restores 4 mana every 5 sec.)
    You get the chance to turn in even more AQ20 drops for a class-specific set weapon. And you may turn in 15 Combat, 20 Logistics, 20 Tactical Badges, and a Mark of Cenarius to Vargus to earn Champion's Battlegear:
    • Fist of Cenarius
      (2H Mace, Dam: 175-263, Spd: 3.50, DPS: 62.6, MinLvl: 60, Equip: +40 spell damage and healing, +2% spell crit)
    • Wrath of Cenarius
      (Unique Finger CoH: +132 spell damage for 10 sec whenever your damage spells hit)
    • Earthstrike
      (Unique Trinket Use: +280 melee and ranged attack power for 20 sec)

The class-specific set pieces form a 3-piece set that can be added to most existing armor sets, as the pieces (ring, cloak, weapon) are not typical set pieces. See the "Class Quest Rewards" section of the official faction page for details.

Reputation from Kills

You may gain reputation by killing Twilight Cultists in Silithus:

  • Twilight Geolords yield 2 rep/kill through Friendly
  • Most other Twilight mobs yield 10 rep/kill through Exalted
  • Twilight Prophets yield 30 rep/kill through Exalted
  • Elemental Templars yield 10 rep/kill through Exalted
  • Elemental Dukes yield 20 rep/kill through Exalted
  • Elemental Lords yield 30 rep/kill through Exalted
Also, a complete run of the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraji (affectionately known as AQ20) will yield up to 6000 Cenarion Circle rep depending on your current standing (each boss yields 200 rep/kill through Exalted). Killing AQ40 bosses for their Insigniae also gains some Cenarion rep in addition to Brood of Nozdormu rep.

Quests

The Cenarion Circle remains the center for druidical lore. Despite recent disagreements over the creation of Teldrassil, the Circle remains unbroken - for now. Druids begin at 2000/3000 Neutral, and may build reputation with the Circle almost to Friendly just by completing their class quests. Quests for the Maraudon instance are given out of Nigel's Point in Desolace (for Alliance). In addition, there are many quests given out of Cenarion Hold in Silithus, including the repeatable "Secret Communication" quests. The Omen questline from the Lunar Festival seasonal event also yielded a small amount (660 points) of Cenarion Circle reputation. The Cenarion Hold quests and mobs are L55 and up, so you can comfortably wait until L60 before beginning to build reputation here. You should make sure to do this before L58ish mobs go gray to you, though.

Repeatable Reputation Quests for Cenarion Circle

The primary RRQ for Cenarion Circle reputation is "[60] Secret Communications" quest, which requires you to collect 10 Encrypted Twilight Texts and return them to Bor Wildmane in Cenarion Hold. The texts drop from all varieties of Twilight Cultists across Silithus. Each turn-in yields 500 Cenarion Circle reputation. As of 1.11, texts now stack in 250s, requiring 1.4 stacks to go from Revered to Exalted. Note that you can also turn in 10 texts to Hermit Ortell in exchange for a package which usually contains blue recipes and other items ("[59] True Believers"), but this quest yields no reputation.

The "Field Duty" quests are random assignments from Captain Blackanvil of the Ironforge Brigade (Krug Skullsplit of the Orgrimmar Legion, for the Horde). The setup quest yields 50 rep each time, giving you the chance to select various tasks. These tasks - Combat, Logistics, and Tactical - provide 150 rep on turn in as well as the badges needed for the Battlegear quests from Vargus in Cenarion Hold. As of 1.11, the Field Duty badges may also be turned in for additional reputation (1000 rep for turning in 1 of each badge via "[60] Allegiance to the Cenarion Circle").

Quest Given By Description Reward
[60+] Field Duty Windcaller Kaldon Obtain Signed Field Duty Papers from Captain Blackanvil (Alliance) or Captain Skullsplit (Horde) 50 rep, 1 Combat/ Logistics/ Tactical Assignment
[60] Allegiance to the Cenarion Circle Windcaller Kaldon Turn in 1 Combat, 1 Logistics, and 1 Tactical Badge 1000 rep
Combat Quests
All assignments require you to kill 30 of some species of Silithid and turn in the original Task Briefing to Commander Mar'alith in Cenarion Hold. None of these require entering the Hives or the instances. A combat quest request gets you a dossier with the four kill quests for one of the hives.
Hive'Ashi
[60+] Target: Hive'Ashi Defenders Combat Task Briefing I (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Ashi Defenders 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Ashi Sandstalkers Combat Task Briefing II (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Ashi Sandstalkers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Ashi Workers Combat Task Briefing III (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Ashi Workers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Ashi Stingers Combat Task Briefing XII (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Ashi Stingers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
The best place to find Stingers is not in Hive'Ashi proper, but on the other side of Cenarion Hold at the Swarming Pillar
Hive'Zora
[60+] Target: Hive'Zora Reavers Combat Task Briefing IV (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Zora Reavers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Zora Hive Sisters Combat Task Briefing V (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Zora Hive Sisters 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Zora Waywatchers Combat Task Briefing VI (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Zora Waywatchers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Zora Tunnelers Combat Task Briefing VII (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Zora Tunnelers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
One of the best hunting grounds for tunnelers is inside the southwest cave, entered from the bottom entrance near (21.7, 64.1). There are 2-3 tunneler spawn spots, and all the other mobs are present as well, so this makes a good "one stop shop" for all the combat quests.
Hive'Regal
[60+] Target: Hive'Regal Ambushers Combat Task Briefing VIII (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Regal Ambushers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Regal Spitfires Combat Task Briefing IX (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Regal Spitfires 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Regal Slavemakers Combat Task Briefing X (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Regal Slavemakers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
[60+] Target: Hive'Regal Burrowers Combat Task Briefing XI (obj) Kill 30 Hive'Regal Burrowers 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Combat Badge
Logistics Quests
All assignments require turning in the original Task Briefing and the required items. The Logistics Assignment from tasks 1-3, 8, 9 can contain the briefings for Logistics Tasks 4-7 and 10. The Followup Logistics Assignment from tasks 4-7 and 10 can contain tasks 1-3, 8, 9, and 11. Assuming the drop rate is approximately even, it would not be unrealistic to expect to have to do at least twelve assignments before getting task 11. Note that unlike the combat assignments, you will automatically get another Logistics quest upon completion, so additional Field Duty runs aren't required.
[60] Desert Survival Kits Logistics Task Briefing I (obj) Turn in 4 Globe of Water, 4 Powerful Anti-Venom, 4 Smoked Desert Dumplings to Calandrath at the inn in Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Logistics Assignment
[60] Boots for the Guard Logistics Task Briefing II (obj) Turn in 3 Ornate Mithril Boots to Captain Vish Kozus at Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Logistics Assignment
[60] Grinding Stones for the Guard Logistics Task Briefing III (obj) Turn in 10 Dense Grinding Stones, 10 Solid Grinding Stones, 10 Heavy Grinding Stones to Captain Vish Kozus at Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Logistics Assignment
[60] The Ironforge Brigade Needs Explosives! (Alliance) Logistics Task Briefing IV (obj) Turn in 6 Oil of Immolation, 5 Goblin Rocket Fuel, 10 Dense Blasting Powder to Arcanist Nozzlespring near Hive'Zora. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] The Orgrimmar Legion Needs Mojo! (Horde) Logistics Task Briefing IV (obj) Turn in 8 Oil of Immolation, 6 Flask of Big Mojo, 6 Powerful Mojo to Shadow Priestess Shai near Hive'Regal. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] Scrying Materials Logistics Task Briefing V (obj) Turn in 1 Large Brilliant Shard, 1 Large Radiant Shard, 1 Huge Emerald to Geologist Larksbane, Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] Arms for the Field (Alliance) Logistics Task Briefing VI (obj) Turn in 2 Moonsteel Broadswords to Janela Stouthammer near Hive'Zora. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] Arms for the Field (Horde) Logistics Task Briefing VI (obj) Turn in 3 Massive Iron Axes to Merok Longstride near Hive'Regal. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] Armor Kits for the Field Logistics Task Briefing VII (obj) Turn in 8 Rugged Armor Kits and 8 Heavy Armor Kits to Merok Longstride near Hive'Regal (Horde) or Janela Stouthammer near Hive'Zora. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] Uniform Supplies Logistics Task Briefing VIII (obj) Turn in 1 Mooncloth, 2 Bolt of Runecloth, 1 Ironweb Spider Silk to Windcaller Proudhorn at Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Logistics Assignment
[60] Extraordinary Materials Logistics Task Briefing IX (obj) Turn in 2 Enchanted Thorium Bar, 2 Enchanted Leather to Vargus at Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Logistics Assignment
[60] Bandages for the Field Logistics Task Briefing X (obj) Turn in 30 Heavy Runecloth Bandages, 30 Heavy Mageweave Bandages, 30 Heavy Silk Bandages to Windcaller Proudhorn at Cenarion Hold. 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Logistics Badge, Followup Logistics Assignment
[60] The Ultimate Deception Logistics Task Briefing XI (obj) Turn in a Skin of Shadow, 3 Frayed Abomination Stitchings, 1 Twilight Cultist Robe to Aurel Goldleaf at Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 300 rep, Mark of Remulos
Tactical Quests
All assignments require turning in the original Task Briefing after completing the specified tasks. The Tactical Assignment received from Field Duty (or tasks) can contain briefings 1, 3, 6, 7, and 9. The Followup Tactical Assignment can contain briefings 2, 4, 5, 8, and 10. As with the Logistics assignments, it would not be unusual to have to complete 10 or more tactical quests before seeing Tactical Briefing V. Note that unlike the combat assignments, you will automatically get another Tactical quest upon completion, so additional Field Duty runs aren't required.
[60+] Azure Templar Tactical Task Briefing I (obj) Summon and slay an Azure Templar and report to Bor Wildmane in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Followup Tactical Assignment
[60+] Crimson Templar Tactical Task Briefing II (obj) Summon and slay a Crimson Templar and report to Bor Wildmane in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Tactical Assignment
[60+] Earthen Templar Tactical Task Briefing III (obj) Summon and slay an Earthen Templar and report to Bor Wildmane in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Followup Tactical Assignment
[60+] Hoary Templar Tactical Task Briefing IV (obj) Summon and slay a Hoary Templar and report to Bor Wildmane in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Tactical Assignment
[60+] The Four Dukes Tactical Task Briefing V (obj) Summon and slay the four Abyssal Dukes and report to Commander Mar'alith in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 300 rep, Mark of Cenarius
[60+] Hive'Zora Scout Report Tactical Task Briefing VI (obj) Contact Cenarion Scout Azenel inside Hive'Zora and return the Scout Report to Windcaller Proudhorn in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Followup Tactical Assignment
Azenel is located in the northern cave system (entrance near 22,55) at coordinates (23,61) in the southern part of an X-shaped room.
[60+] Hive'Regal Scout Report Tactical Task Briefing VII (obj) Contact Cenarion Scout Landion inside Hive'Regal and return the Scout Report to Windcaller Proudhorn in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Followup Tactical Assignment
Landion is in the southern cave system (entrance near 55,88) in the west part of the X-shaped room near (53,97)
[60+] Hive'Ashi Scout Report Tactical Task Briefing VIII (obj) Contact Cenarion Scout Jalia inside Hive'Ashi and return the Scout Report to Windcaller Proudhorn in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Tactical Assignment
Jalia is located in the northern cave system in a large circular room near (43,13).
[60+] Twilight Marauders Tactical Task Briefing IX (obj) Slay Twilight Marauder Morna and 5 Twilight Marauders and report to Windcaller Proudhorn in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Followup Tactical Assignment
[60+] Twilight Battle Orders Tactical Task Briefing X (obj) Retrieve Twilight Battle Orders from the escorted Twilight Prophets and deliver them to Commander Mar'alith in Cenarion Hold 650 xp, 150 rep, Cenarion Tactical Badge, Tactical Assignment
There are two spawn points for the Twilight Prophets. One spawns at the north end of Twilight Outpost (southwest Silithus). The other spawns northwest of Twilight Post and walks back and forth between Twilight Post and Twilight Base Camp (the two camps near Cenarion Hold). The Prophet is L60 elite and travels with 2 (non-elite) Twilight Avengers (L58-60).

As of patch 1.12, you may collect Silithus Dust and turn in the dust at the Horde Silithyst Extractor (near Hive'Regal) or the Alliance Silithyst Extractor (near Hive'Zora) for 20 rep per turn-in. You can only hold one dust sample at a time. Collecting the dust flags you for PvP.

If you're lucky enough to be running AQ40, turning in a Qiraji Lord's Insignia nets you 200 Cenarion rep as well as 500 Brood of Nozdormu rep.

Summoning Elementals

You may also repeat the quests to summon and destroy Templars, Dukes, and Lords and turn 3 Abyssal Crests, Signets, or Scepters (for 150, 500, and 1000 reputation respectively). Summoning requires a few steps.

To summon an elemental Templar (L60 non-elite), you must kill Twilight cultists of any variety. They randomly drop Twilight Mantles, Twilight Robes, and Twilight Cowls. One character must equip the three items, then right click on a Lesser Windstone at any of the Twilight camps (clear the area first to avoid adds). Challenge the Templar and it will manifest (if you're quick, you can re-equip your normal gear). There are four Templars, one for each element. The one that manifests is normally random unless you have an appropriate Crest of Beckoning (see below).

To summon an elemental Duke (L62 elite), you must first kill 3 Templars (any variety) to get their Abyssal Crests and obtain another set of Twilight clothing. Turn in 3 Abyssal Crests and a Large Brilliant Shard to Aurel Goldleaf at Cenarion Hold. She will then create a Medallion of Station. Person with the medallion must wear the Twilight clothes and right click on a Windstone (not lesser, not greater). As with Templars, the one you get is random without an appropriate Signet of Beckoning.

To summon an elemental Lord, you must retrieve 3 Abyssal Signets by killing Dukes and obtain 5 Large Brilliant Shards to create a Ring of Lordship. You must have a set of Twilight clothes, a Medallion of Station, and a Ring of Lordship in order to use the Greater Windstone and summon a Lord. As with the others, you get a random Lord without an appropriate Scepter of Beckoning.

Medallions, Rings, and Twilight clothes are usually consumed in the summoning ritual. In some cases, if you do not unequip the Twilight clothes, one or more of the pieces survive the ritual. This is apparently random, but at least one piece is typically destroyed.

Beckoning items are created by randomly obtained scrolls provided by Hermit Ortell who lives in a Hideout in southeast Silithus (near 67,69). Turning in 10 Encrypted Texts to him will grant 45s (90s the first time) and a mailed package containing decrypted pages and random scrolls (which can also include various craft recipes). Having one in your inventory will allow you to specify the elemental summoned when you right-click the wind stone.

Practical Notes

The quickest route to gaining Cenarion reputation is to run AQ20 often. If you're not raiding, don't worry - you can grind your way to success.

Patch 2.3 updated the reputation gains from kills for this faction, so there's no reason to hold off on quests. Reputation from quests is significant - even without the repeatable quests, you can easily gain 8k rep soloing in Silithus, with 2k more in Maraudon and other group quests in Silithus. If your goal is to reach Exalted, you will still need to grind Cultists for texts (Twilight Prophets drop 7-10 of these, so keep an eye out for them). Grinding ~500 Cultists should give you a stack or so of texts. You'll also need the Cultist set pieces dropped by the Cultists to summon elementals. You can use the sets to summon and defeat Templars throughout this grind, so you don't need to hoard pieces on mules anymore. Save at least one set for summoning a Duke to complete the first Signet turn-in. Truthfully, with the improved rewards in Outland, the Cenarion battle gear isn't really worth the extensive grind for badges, so doing the Field Duty quests and turning in the badges for 1k rep is a good route. Note that getting a combat badge requires 30 kills; your choice whether it's easier to farm 20 texts than complete 3 Field Duty quests. From 0/3000 Neutral through Exalted requires a combination of 840 texts, 4200 10-pt Cultist kills, and/or quests.

As far as farming elementals, killing three Templars yields 150 rep and requires 3 sets of clothes (usually). Killing three Dukes yields 500 rep and requires killing nine Templars plus 10 sets of clothes. Nine Templar Crests by themselves are worth 450 rep, so the bonus gained for killing Dukes is minimal - however, Dukes drop substantially better treasure. Similarly, killing three Lords yields 1000 rep and requires killing 9 Dukes (1500 rep) but drop Epics. In most cases, it's not worth it to kill Lords beyond the first quest completion which requires only one scepter turn in.